As DevOps adoption continues to accelerate in large companies and organizations, the exact definition of the term remains unclear. Is DevOps a culture, movement, approach, philosophy, or combination of these things? Or does the term have a different meaning depending on the person?
Whatever your definition of DevOps is, DevOps success doesn’t happen overnight. Rather, it’s a journey. Today’s organizations are focusing on improving the delivery of information technology to the next level. When done correctly, DevOps plays a vital role in achieving this goal. But while the concept of DevOps is not new—in fact, it’s more than a decade old—many organizations have yet to implement it. And some continue to face challenges in leveraging DevOps to achieve their desired benefits.
Why are some companies successful with DevOps implementation and others are struggling?
The answer is simple. The strategies in use to ensure a successful DevOps implementation plan.
In this article, drawing on our experience in DevOps practices, we first define DevOps. Next, we give reasons why you need to use DevOps in your organization. And finally, we highlight the six strategies to a successful DevOps implementation plan.
What Is DevOps?
Patrick Debois coined the word DevOps in 2009. It comes from development and operations. It is not a process, technique, or standard. Instead, it’s a representation of the IT culture evolution. DevOps focuses on the speed with which organizations deliver IT services by adopting agile and flexible practices as part of a systems-oriented approach. DevOps applications depend on technology, particularly automation tools that can exploit a dynamic infrastructure that is increasingly programmable from a life-cycle point of view.
The Need for DevOps
The increasing adoption of DevOps by most organizations across the globe indicates its potential as a critical enabler to achieving scale. Implementation of DevOps practices helps an organization deliver faster, better, higher-quality, and more reliable software. Successful DevOps relies on a culture of cooperation and collaboration among all functions of the organization.
Here are the top reasons why companies need DevOps:
It Helps You Respond Faster to Business Needs
Data projects are often inspired by pressing business concerns. We are looking for quick answers, immediate optimizations, and often very concrete subjects: a marketing campaign, fine segmentation, or the cause of a project failure.
Thanks to the implementation of a DevOps approach in business, software is released in smaller batches and on shorter deadlines. It gives you the flexibility to respond to business needs as they arise. This makes it possible to reduce the initial time-to-market and carry out more iterations to refine a product.
It Introduces a Data-Driven Culture to Your Enterprise
DevOps is neither a repository of good practices nor a methodology set in stone. Rather, it is more a principle of efficiency in which you closely associate development and operations within projects. This accelerates the production of the project. DevOps allows you to break down silos, work with agility, collaborate, develop and challenge ideas, and diversify expertise.
Moreover, the DevOps culture is necessary for companies that want to rely more on their data. For example, within an organization, DevOps is necessary to deliver production-ready data. DevOps teams often create environments to support data exploration and visualization.
Other primary reasons why companies need DevOps are:
- It improves team communication and cooperation. When you use DevOps principles to build a product, teams can experiment and innovate quickly. This increases their level of trust and enables them to become even more flexible.
- It increases efficiency. Increased use of IT automation is imperative, and DevOps lets you automate processes easily. Automating routine tasks releases team members to do more valuable work. Automation also reduces the likelihood of human error.
- It creates shorter development cycles and faster innovation. With a joint development and operations team, applications are built faster. They’re also ready to be used by the customer sooner.
DevOps Implementation Road Map
The DevOps implementation road map includes six steps:
1. Show the DevOps Initiative
The company’s IT director is critical to introducing the DevOps initiative. DevOps is part of the enterprise’s IT activities and facilitates other business functions such as human resources and investment. As a result, the IT director can make changes to development activities and operations. Next, the program manager designs DevOps strategies tailored to the business and supervises their implementation.
2. Develop Your DevOps Strategy
Program managers must align teams in a shared environment by setting a common goal. Doing so gives each member of the team a sense of duty and responsibility. Best practices that facilitate new ways to provide software development, infrastructure, and testing and improve team collaboration are critical elements of DevOps.
Your strategy should focus on two goals: supporting the continuous release of production-ready processes and enabling the rest of the team to do their work as best possible.
3. Containerize Your Applications
Application containerization is a rapidly evolving technology that is changing the way developers test and run application instances in the cloud. Containerizing your applications makes your apps easily executable and lightweight.
The container packaging improves the reliability of software as it goes through operations. Furthermore, the container portions of the program make it independent of the overall infrastructure. This increases its capabilities to run in any environment without any dependency. Additionally, containerizing allows DevOps teams to manage the application promptly and make any changes needed for a particular microservice.
4. Integrate Infrastructure with CI/CD Tools
Containerizing requires active management. Infrastructure automation tools like Kubernetes, Ansible, and Chef with CI/CD tools like Jenkins, GoCD, or Bamboo can resolve effective configuration management and deployment concerns.
These tools set up containers to take risks through regular monitoring and continuous software updates.
5. Automate More Tests and Align QA with Dev
Automating more tests will create faster delivery cycles, improve quality, and increase test coverage. However, this does not mean that you must automate each type of test. Before automating any test, calculate the amount of iterations each test needs. This way, you’ll know if it’s really worth the effort to automate a test.
On the other hand, QA-Dev alignment is critical in handling post-launch problems. This alignment allows for the early detection of errors and helps developers tackle problems before the next release.
6. Monitor Application Performance
Application performance monitoring gives the DevOps team transparency about issues that occur in the software life cycle. It also helps to detect application defects, prioritize them, and isolate their root causes.
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